There is a strange activism being done on Pakistani TV these days. The hosts – specifically women – are taking upon themselves to become BOTH – the morality laden Mullahs and the Police. And, are raiding houses, and businesses and people’s privacy as and how they want.
Maria Khan has done this on her program “Baat se Baat”, where she took a few policemen and her camera crew to raid a beauty parlour while openly making charges and racist comments on the Chinese owner.
Maria Khan, the host of a Pakistani television talk show, raided a massage parlor in a private residence in Lahore last week and accused the women working there of being prostitutes. Accompanied by the police, Khan and her “Baat Say Baat” camera crew threatened the employees with arrest, rifled through their purses, and cross-examined them about their work. The women’s faces were caught on camera despite their repeated requests not to be filmed. Khan made racist comments about the parlor’s Chinese owner, and even went so far as to contact the father of one employee and accuse him of pimping out his daughter.
Another anchor Maya Khan did a similar thing – breaching the privacy – on couples sitting in a park.
Now here is the concern in all this.
What is wrong with couples sitting and having some personal time? Or with massage parlour which offers sensuous massages? If these businesses are flouting any law then the right authorities should be investigating and booking them under the correct legal section after due process.
But this kind of public trial which breaches every semblance of privacy, shows a Talibanization of the urban mind! These anchors who are dressed in Western clothes with Western style education can fool anyone into believing that Pakistan’s educated class is liberal and open. One look at the program’s basic premise and mindset and it is clear that they are just another extension of Taliban.
Such is the impact and percolation of conservative and extremist mindset that probably people in Pakistan do not even find it a sign of Talibanization. In fact, in all the programs on Pakistani TV channels which had roundly criticized Maya Khan at that time (due to which she had to stop the program and move out), were focused only on the legality and the privacy issue. And, how this is not within the ambit of the media.
However, the issue is far bigger. It is the issue of Hypocrisy of the Educated class which has been Talibanized, unbeknownst to themselves. They dress modern, talk in English, tour the West, appear liberal. But are inherent extremist in their socialist outlook.